The Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC) is established under and operates in accordance with, the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council Act 2001The role of VEAC is to conduct investigations and assessments as requested by the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, relating to the protection and ecologically sustainable management of the environment and natural resources of public land.

Prior to a new investigation occurring, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) advertises the proposed terms of reference for the investigation, for public comment. Based on feedback received, DELWP then reviews and finalises the terms of reference, before the Minister provides a request for investigation to VEAC. Once VEAC has completed an investigation, they must submit a written report to the Minister that includes any recommendations resulting from the investigation. The Victorian Government then responds to VEAC's recommendations within six months. DELWP coordinates the process within the government.

In September 2016, the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council Act 2001 was amended to enable the Minister to request that VEAC conduct shorter assessments or advice for matters that do not require an investigation (for example, a matter that has a limited scale or scope, or due to its technical nature).

For further information on Victorian Environmental Assessment Council, including current and completed investigations and assessments, visit the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council website.

Brickworks Billabong: statement to amend government response to VEAC River Red Gums investigation report

The Brickworks Billabong is situated within the Merbein Common, north west of Mildura. To eliminate significant land use conflicts and public safety concerns, it is necessary to, among other things, amend the Government response to the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council River Red Gum Forests Investigation Report.

In accordance with section 26(5)(b) of the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council Act 2001. The Statement of Amendment (PDF, 311.6 KB) is a requirement under legislation to enable a change of government response to the VEAC River Red Gum Forests Investigation in relation to the Brickworks Billabong.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact Gary Niewand at gary.niewand@delwp.vic.gov.au.

Current VEAC investigations and assessments

On 4 March 2018, the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change requested VEAC to carry out an assessment of the values of Victoria's marine environment. The assessment will inform the development of a state-wide marine and coastal strategy and support the development of the proposed Marine Spatial Planning Framework, as outlined in Action 1.1 of Victoria's Marine and Coastal Reforms Final Transition Plan.

The terms of reference outline the purpose and scope of the assessment. VEAC must report on the completed assessment by 29 March 2019.

Terms of reference (PDF, 267.1 KB)
Terms of reference (DOCX, 21.4 KB)

In accordance with section 26C (1) of the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council Act 2001, the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change tabled the notice of request for the assessment in both Houses of Parliament on 8 March 2018. The request was published in the Victorian Government Gazette on 9 March 2018.

Completed VEAC investigations and assessments

VEAC has recently completed the following investigations and assessments:

In 2018, the Victorian Government commissioned VEAC to assess Victoria’s coastal reserves.

The purpose of the assessment was to:

  • review the number and types (reservation status) of coastal reserves in Victoria
  • identify reserves with high environmental, cultural heritage, social and economic values and identify values at risk from the impacts of climate change
  • identify current and emerging uses of the coastal reserves
  • compile an inventory, including spatial distribution, of values and uses of the coastal reserves.

The full terms of reference for the assessment and VEAC’s Assessment of Victoria’s Coastal Reserves Final Report are available on VEAC's website.

In its final report, VEAC made 9 recommendations to assist the Victorian Government’s administration, future planning and decision making for the coast.

Victorian Government response to VEAC’s Assessment of Coastal Reserves

The Victorian Government has accepted or accepted in principle the 9 recommendations made by VEAC in its Assessment of Victoria’s Coastal Reserves Final Report.

The government has responded to recommendations relating to:

  • clarifying shoreline law
  • improving the transparency and accessibility of Crown land information
  • improving the alignment of Crown land parcels with public land use recommendations, management arrangements and ambulatory boundaries
  • developing decision-support tools and management advice for coastal reserve managers.

You can read the response here:  Victorian government response to VEAC’s Assessment of Victoria’s Coastal Reserves (PDF, 658.0 KB)

In September 2014, the then Minister for Environment and Climate Change asked VEAC to carry out an investigation into public land in Victoria to provide updated information for public land management

The Council was requested to investigate and provide:

  • an assessment of the current system of public land use categories
  • an assessment of the current reservation status of public land, and
  • an inventory of the types of values on public land.

VEAC's State wide Assessment of Public Land Final Report was publicly released on 8 May 2017 and is available on the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council website. VEAC made 30 recommendations to the Victorian Government as a result of the investigation. On 12 December 2017, the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change tabled the Victorian Government Response to VEAC's Statewide Assessment of Public Land Final Report in Parliament. The government accepted, accepted in principle or in part, all 30 of VEAC's recommendations.

Victorian Government Response to VEAC's State wide Assessment of Public Land Final Report (PDF, 917.9 KB)
Victorian Government Response to VEAC's State wide Assessment of Public Land Final Report (DOCX, 4.3 MB)

In November 2016, the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change requested VEAC to carry out an assessment of the viability of and capacity for, current volumes and potential fibre and wood supply areas in State forests in the Central Highlands, North East, Gippsland and East Gippsland regional forest agreement areas.

The purpose of the assessment was to:

  • Identify the current, and currently projected, fibre and wood supply to industry from the specified area. The Council was required to take into consideration current contractual supply commitments.
  • Identify the current and likely future constraints to this supply.
  • Report on public land use and management.
  • Report on the viability of and capacity for current and potential wood and fibre supply over appropriate time scales.

The Fibre and Wood Supply Assessment Report was publicly released on 10 May 2017 and is available from the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council website. VEAC was not required to, and did not make, any recommendations to the Victorian Government in their final report. In accordance with the VEAC Act, the Victorian Government is currently preparing a response to VEAC's assessment report.

In September 2016, the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change requested VEAC to carry out an assessment of the conservation values of State forests in the Central Highlands, North East, Gippsland and East Gippsland regional forest agreement areas.

The purpose of the assessment was to:

  • identify the biodiversity and ecological values in the specified area
  • identify the current and likely future threats to these values, and
  • report on public land use and management.

The Conservation Values of State Forests Assessment Report was publicly released on 7 March 2017 and is available from the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council website. VEAC was not required to, and did not make, any recommendations to the Victorian Government in their final report. In accordance with the VEAC Act, the Victorian Government is currently preparing a response to VEAC's assessment.

In March 2014, the then Minister for Environment and Climate Change requested VEAC to investigate historic places on public land in Victoria. On 31 August 2016, VEAC provided its Historic Places Investigation Final Report to the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change.

On 7 June 2017, the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change tabled the Victorian Government Response to VEAC's Historic Places Investigation Final Report in Parliament. The government responded to the 11 recommendations made by VEAC and supported, supported in principle or in part, 10 of VEAC's 11 recommendations.

Victorian Government Response to VEAC's Historic Places Investigation Final Report (PDF, 436.0 KB)
Victorian Government Response to VEAC's Historic Places Investigation Final Report (DOCX, 2.6 MB)

In October 2011, the then Minister for Environment and Climate Change requested VEAC to investigate the performance and management of Victoria's existing marine protected areas, and the ongoing threats and challenges that these areas face into the future.

VEAC completed the investigation in April 2014 and made 38 recommendations to the Victorian Government in the Victorian Government Response to VEAC's Marine Investigation (PDF, 362.8 KB). The report was publicly released on 31 August 2016. The government response supports all VEAC's recommendations in full or in principle.

Victorian Government Response to VEAC's Marine Investigation (PDF, 362.8 KB)
Victorian Government Response to VEAC's Marine Investigation (DOCX, 1.2 MB)

In August 2011, the then Minister for Environment and Climate Change requested VEAC to investigate public land in the Yellingbo area, focusing on its biodiversity and ecological values and arrangements to conserve and enhance these values. VEAC's Yellingbo Investigation Final Report was publicly released on 7 August 2013.

The Victorian Government Response to VEAC's Yellingbo Investigation (PDF, 195.9 KB) supports all of VEAC's recommendations in full or in principle.

For further information on the Yellingbo Investigation, visit the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council website.

Questions and Answers about the Victorian Government Response to VEAC's Yellingbo Investigation (DOCX, 18.7 KB).

In August 2012, the then Minister for Environment and Climate Change requested VEAC to investigate "under what circumstances it is appropriate that greater access be provided for low impact prospecting, while still protecting the heritage and environmental values of our national parks". VEAC's Investigation into Additional Prospecting Areas in Parks Report was publicly released on 7 June 2013. VEAC made six recommendations to the Victorian Government in this report.

The Victorian Government Response to VEAC's Investigation into Additional Prospecting Areas in Parks (PDF, 445.0 KB) was tabled in Parliament and publicly released on 4 February 2014, and includes three main changes for recreational prospectors.

VEAC's report and other details about the investigation are available from Victorian Environmental Assessment Council website.

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Page last updated: 06/08/21